Today I visited my dad, with my three sons and one nephew. I have to say this was one of the best visits I have had with my Dad since this awful debacle has started.
We were met by his caretakers, saying, “We are so glad you are here, he has been waiting on you!” The last time we visited (2 weeks ago), he had hoarded snacks from his dining room and had them lined up on his bed to give to the kids when they came in. I laugh every time I think of this, because this is the man who has griped about my weight since I can remember, and the first thing he asks my kids (who also have a little weight issue), “are yall hungry?”
So today, he has 5 Dr. Thunders, and some Cracker Jacks, and the boys spot some pudding on the way in, so they are well taken care of in the snack department.
But I spotted this photo the minute, almost second I walk in. Have I mentioned that I am a Daddy’s girl? Have I mentioned that this man is my hero? Have I told you that he is my motivation, and I catch myself mentioning things throughout my days that my daddy has said…such as, “Never let the negative few outweigh the positive many” and “No renter is better than a bad renter” (this was in reference to a former boyfriend). I constantly talk about my dad.
And the photo that I saw when I walked in that room…it took my breath. It was of my dad and his friend, Johnny Faulkner. I have heard of this friend of his my whole life. Mr. Faulkner served as a missionary in Zimbabwe for many years, and my dad actually visited him there. Mr. Faulkner visited my parents here, and he realized, even 15 years ago, that something was not right with my dad.
But, seeing that picture, I cannot describe enough the dance that my heart did, the absolute CHACHA that my inside self performed. My dad looks like Opie from the Andy Griffith show in this picture, and when I asked him about it, he talked about how many miles he put on that bicycle, and how Johnny’s ears stuck out, and how they picked cotton out of each other’s rows, especially the bigger bolls of cotton, because that filled up their baskets faster.
I see these two boys peddling across dirt roads, overalls sweaty, and time left behind, and enjoying all that can be inhaled and expired at that age.
I see my dad without the burden of this horrendous disease. I see him before it ALL began. I had good conversation with him today. His favorite vacations were Hawaii and Australia. He also liked snowmobiling through Yellowstone, driving through Austria, and traveling in the Holy Land.
Today was a good day. That picture..yall, that picture has made me a happy daughter. I can not tell you how much that young, mischievous boy has made my life one big, happy adventure. I want you to look at those 2 boys, and just imagine what they are going to get into…and that’s what I want. I have a dad…who was a son. I have a dad…who when asked about that bike he was holding onto, said, “I put a lot of miles on that bike, and I saw a lot passing by.”
He remembers a lot. He told me stories today, of times gone by. I loved it. And tonight, I am praising God for the good times He allowed me to be with my Dad. Today was a good day. He laughed watching the grandsons wrestle and argue and play. He smiled when I mentioned little things.
I have had miles with my Dad. I am thankful he remembers the miles he had before this.